9:54 pm
17 Apr 2024

Nicol David & Ong Beng Hee Celebrate Malaysian KL Open Double

9 Mar 2008

Nicol David and Ong Beng Hee provided the perfect result for their home nation by winning the women's and men's titles, respectively, in the CIMB KL Open Squash Championships at Berjaya Times Square in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

In a fierce all-Malaysian final of the men's 5-star PSA Tour event, Ong Beng Hee proved the latest world rankings correct - rather than the event's seeding - by beating third seed Mohd Azlan Iskandar 11-8, 11-10 (5-3), 11-10 (2-0) in 66 minutes.

It was third time lucky for Beng Hee, who was runner-up in 1999 and 2006. Seeded fourth, the Penang-born 28-year-old overtook compatriot Iskandar in the latest March Dunlop PSA world rankings, moving up to 17.

The KL Open win marks Beng Hee's 11th PSA Tour title triumph - but his first since winning the Malaysian Open in November 2005.

Nicol David, the world number one from Penang, was celebrating her 40th appearance in a WISPA World Tour final in the climax of the WISPA Gold event in KL. Furthermore, the 24-year-old defending champion was facing long-time rival Natalie Grinham in their ninth successive meeting in a WISPA final.

But David, unbeaten since October, was too strong for the former Australian who was competing in her first event since switching allegiance to the Netherlands, where she has been based for the past nine years.

Nicol David stormed to a 9-4, 9-2, 9-2 win in just 35 minutes - not only picking up her fifth KL Open crown since 2000, but also bringing her WISPA trophy haul to 26, just one Tour title shy of Rachael Grinham, Natalie's older sister who boasts 27.

Men's final:
[4] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt [3] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) 11-8, 11-10 (5-3), 11-10 (2-0) (66m)

Women's final:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [2] Natalie Grinham (NED) 9-4, 9-2, 9-2 (35m)